Companions of the Blind Wizard

Parlay with the Natives

Orem’s background has trained him to step up and deal with the population, so he does so in this case.

“My friend, I sense your loss. Is there something we can do to help you?”

The villagers – through their spokesman continue to threaten and bluster as Orem deftly negotiates. Eventually, with the arrival of an elder – a wizened crone, the villagers are placated with an offer by the assembled strangers to find their lost children. The crone claims that the visitors must fulfil a prophesy to remove the curse over the land in order to be able to return to their own lands.

Orem accepts – and the other newcomers find little alternative to go along with the quest.

Some questions uncover the situation. In brief, the season is the dark time, during which the villagers are accustomed to keeping their children under lock and key in a secure, windowless hut that is guarded every night. That morning, the guards were found asleep, and the children missing – about 60.

No footprints were found leading into the hut, heavy booted feet only leaving the hut. Both shifts of guards were found asleep together. We surmised that the on duty guards were put to sleep first, the hut entered, the children carried out. The change of guards were ambushed and put to sleep on their way to the hut, and carried there subsequently.

Some distance outside the village, tracks indicated that the children were put down to walk with their captors.

Further on, we found the signs of a fight which the Barbarian was involved in – he had picked up a doll there, and killed a zombie which was a young boy.

A little further along the trail, we encountered the ghost of a little girl. She was appeased with the return of her doll.

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The Lost Seeking the Lost
In which a motley band unite to find lost children in a strange land

Stumbling out of the fog you’re instantly struck by your surroundings. Gone are the normal landmarks that you are used to, and in their place towering trees, somehow menacing, looming overhead. Disoriented, you stop to take stock. Underneath is what only the most generous person could call a road, muddy wagon tracks pressed into the ground over many years, eventually setting enough of a pattern that it is the standard now. In the distance, sounds. Not the normal sounds, though. In this forest, there are no chirps, tweets, or even anything else indicating life. Silence, complete and suffocating. Except for the yelling coming from the distance.

Against your better judgement you head towards the yelling, it being the only life that you can sense in the area, thinking that whatever is going on perhaps they can stop being angry enough to tell you where you are, how you got here, and most importantly, how do you get back?

Walking into a clearing, you notice people running about. Dotted throughout are small “houses” , if you want to call them that. Short, squat, with no real personality or distinguishing characteristics, they all contain people, but most curiously no windows. Not a single one. The doors are thick, sturdy, and could likely withstand an army beating upon them. All the people contained herein are in various states of disrepair. Bandages over bleeding wounds, torn clothing, not a single bath could have occurred in the last month, if not year. Everyone is headed in the same direction, and while they are all talking to themselves, the yelling is coming from one source. A large man, standing in front of the largest building, covered in holy symbols, himself dressed in a robe. “The children, they’re gone!” , he yells over and over again. Panic is spreading, the people start looking around , and it seems like everyone at the same time notices you.

But you’re not alone. There are others here, obviously out of their element, just like yourself. Each of you looking at the other, seeing the confusion , knowing that they’re in the same boat as you.

It seems that weapons magically appear in the hands of each of the villagers, swords, maces, crossbows, all in their hands, and all directed menacingly at you. The large man starts walking towards you. He is bald, with a large, bushy beard, brown with streaks of white within, and the robe is a drab brown, with a rope holding it together, seemingly unfit for the task. As he walks towards you , he starts speaking. “Our children disappear, and you arrive in our village. We don’t like coincidences, and we don’t like strangers. I think you’d better tell us everything we need to know, right now, or you won’t be leaving here”….

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